What Happens in The Valley

What Happens in The Valley

I would introduce myself but I honestly don't think that's important right now. Today I want to talk about something else. This morning around 5:30AM, I got a phone call from my mom letting me know my grandmother passed away. I didn't cry -- I just said ok. She told me she was going down to her house and I told her to call me later.

The truth is I had a feeling this was going to be "the call" as soon as I heard my phone ring. For the past few weeks, every time I got a call from someone back home, I wondered if it would be the one. To be totally honest, I was anticipating the call because I associated it with relief. We'll talk more about that later.

One month ago, I got a text message from my cousin letting myself and my other cousins know that my grandmother's organs were beginning to fail and it was best if we could come and see her because "they" aren't sure how much longer she had left. I was at work and already having a migraine. Tears, instantly. I ran to my boss and let her know what happened. She asked if I wanted to go home and I said yes. So she grabbed my things from my desk for me and I left. 

I was on a flight to Boston two days later. I went straight to my grandmother's house from the airport and there was a bunch of family members there. Many I hadn't seen in a while. I went into the room and saw her, but she was way different than the last time I saw her. And it hurt me really bad. My mind couldn't compute the change. I just know I was really sad to see her that way. She felt like a totally different person. 

I was sad for her, and I was sad for me. Because she wasn't the same gramma who I would call on the phone and laugh with just a few weeks prior. She wasn't asking me "how's your hubby?" and reminding me of the pranks she played on people when she was younger. She was different. She was deteriorating right in front of my eyes and I felt like I couldn't do anything about it. 

I had so many questions. What is she thinking about? Is she in pain? Is she hungry? Is she cold? Or hot? Is she thirsty? Can she stretch her legs? Is she being properly taken care of? Does she even remember who I am? Even when she did answer my questions, I wondered if she was fully aware and giving me an honest answer. It hurt real bad. 

I started to reflect on her life and my own. I wondered if she had settled everything she needed to with God, or if He was waiting for her to talk with Him about some things. I wondered if He was allowing her to hold on for this long because there was something else she needed to let go of or accept. I thought that had to be the only reason He'd let her continue on with this pain. I wondered what her relationship with Him was like. I prayed for her and over her, and for the caretakers who were around her. 

Why didn't I cry when I got the call? At first I concluded that I had already mourned for her and I was now relieved that she is no longer in pain. Within the weeks before my last visit to Boston, while I was there and when I returned to Miami, I cried. A lot. I thought, a lot. And I prayed, a lot. It was an intense sense of sadness that I had not felt in a really, really long time and I just let my body do what it was designed to do. I remember thinking at one point, she isn't even gone yet but this is still so deep. Wow. 

My husband, who has been a sweet sense of comfort through this process, talked with me after I got the call and wanted to make sure I was okay. But later in the day I found myself crying. Even half way through writing this blog, I find myself crying. I am trying to make sense of being happy and sad at the same time. I am so happy she is free from the pain of this world. I am sad to see the effect of death once more again. 

God told me a few moths ago that He was going to walk me through some things that will be hard but that He'll be walking through it right with me. I didn't know what He was talking about but I'm assuming this is a part of those things. He gently warned me and comforted me at the same time. 

I remember about 11 years ago when I experienced the sting of the passing of a close loved one for the first time in my life. My older cousin who was more like a sister. It was the first time I seriously started to wonder about death and realizing how strange it actually is. God comforted me with answers but they weren't immediate. He walked me through with different experiences because He wanted me to know Him, not just the answers.

Though I still don't have all the answers and it still stings, knowing Him is my anchor and that's better than any answer I could ever receive. Actually, He is my ultimate answer and now I'm wanting more of Him. I wanted nothing more for my gramma than for her to be close to Him and wrapped up in His love. That's all that matters in the end, and even now. I just want to see His face and stay close to His heart. It's safe there, even in the midst of pain. 

I didn't mean to start blogging this way and I don't even know if this can be considered a blog post by traditional definition. But it felt really good to write this and If you've made it this far -- thanks for coming. You are loved, seen, and known. Always.


The Fine Linen 

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Just wanted to say thank you for saying this out loud. I felt every word. Thank you for sharing your grandma with me. Although not my biological grandma, I loved her no less. It will never get easier when you lose a loved one…you just make room for whatever feelings and emotions comes with their loss. Love you and always here to support you! 🙏🏾

Nicole McNair

Kris, my sincerest condolences to you and your family on this great loss. Thank you for being vulnerable in this way. I too often think and pray about my loved ones’ salvation and their relationship with Christ because that is more important that how long or little time they have/had on this earth. Your experience is a reminder for me to ensure I am taking up my own cross daily, repenting daily, and submitting my life unto Him daily. So thank you for these words sis. I pray for eternal peace for your Grandmother and that God grants you the peace that passes through all understanding. Love you girl!

Christine (Create & Pray)

Hugs sis! 🥹Thank you for opening this space with such vulnerability to share a beautiful side of creativity of expression in writing! I know your creativity in design and fashion but this side of you is also another dimension of artistry. Thank you for opening this space as a safe space! My sincere condolences sis! Praying as you continue to grieve and lean on God you continue to find comfort in His everlasting arm! I love you ❤️

Nerisa Kamalielu

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